BEIJING - Seven Chinese video-streaming websites announced plans on Thursday to group together to offer fee-based online movies as an alternative channel for watching film on the Internet.
Jia Yuemin, vice president of letv.com which initiated the alliance, said that the Internet-based cinema would ensure netizens authorized copies of films and provide high definition viewing at a reasonable price.
According to Jia, the members of the alliance, including letv.com, qq.com, joy.cn, xunlei.com, baofeng.com, pptv.com and pps.tv, could share authorized films and show them simultaneously while charging the same fees.
Distributing films via Chinese cinemas no longer satisfies the development of film industry.
The total number of cinema screens in China reached 6,200 last year, while only 260 of 526 Chinese films made it to those screens.
Screening videos online could provide opportunities for lesser-known film producers to show their products, said Jia, noting that the convenience of online films would also help relieve the pressure faced by crowded Chinese cinemas.
"Cherish Our Love Forever" will be the first online film shown through the alliance's website, with an exclusive internet copyright owned by letv.com.
In January this year, tudou.com, a local video website, put the blockbuster "Let the Bullets Fly" online as a test, charging 5 yuan to see the film for 48 hours. This test received positive responses from netizens.